Bhutan | Vietnam | Cambodia | Laos | Myanmar | Thailand | Indonesia | Singapore | Hong Kong | Multi Country | Adventure | Veterans | Global VolunTourism

About Us
Booking Info
Travel forms
Custom Programs
Country info
Client Comments

Global Community
Service Foundation

 Itinerary search

Order a Catalog!
Register Now


Or call:
Email us


Paro is the site of the only airport in the country and is thus the first and last place that visitors customarily see.  The approach by plane to the valley nestled between green Himalayan foothills is a thrilling introduction to Bhutan.  The “tiger’s nest” dzong (the administrative and religious center of most Bhutanese towns) is the most famous and sacred in the country and is perched on the side of a steep hillside.  It is said to be the site to which the Guru flew on the back of the tigress.  The National Museum is also situated in Paro and in this unusual round building shaped like a conch shell can be found a wealth of religious and Bhutanese artifacts.  Over a high ridge from Paro is the picturesque Haa Valley

Taktsang MonasteryThe Taktsang “Tiger’s Lair” is perched on the side of a cliff at a height of 900 m above the Paro Valley.  The hike up to the monastery takes about 3-4 hours.  There is a lookout point and a cafeteria about three hours walk from the road.

Kyichu Lhakhang This monastery dates back to the 7th century and is one of the oldest and most sacred.

 Drugyel Dzong On a clear day one can see Mount Chomolhari from the village below the Dong.

 Rinpung Dzong.  This “fortress of the heap of jewels” is the venue for the annual Paro Tshechu held every spring.

 Ta Dzong Built as a watch tower the Ta Dzong has since been turned into the national museum.


Thimpu is the capital of Bhutan and its largest city.  It is said to be the only world capital without a traffic light as the one installed was removed after complaints from the populace.  In the city, a Weekend Market and the National Textile Museum give visitors a glimpse into the Bhutanese way of life and the richness of her traditions.  The Thimpu Dzong is the site of the Annual Tsechu Festival, a series of dances in honor or Guru Rinpoche.  The dances are performed by lay persons and monks alike dressed in colorful and fanciful costumes.

Tashichhoedzong The “Fortress of the Glorious Religion” houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, the main secretariat building and the central monk body.  Its courtyard is open to visitors during the Thimpu Tshechu and when the monk body moves to its winter residence in Punakha.

Memorial Chorten This stupa was build in 1974 by the mother of the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in memory of her son.

Semtokha Dzong.  Five miles from Thimpu, on a lofty ridge, stands Semtokha Dzong the oldest fortress in the Kingdom.  The Dzong now houses the Institute for Language and Culture.

The Institute for Zorig Museum The institute of 13 traditional arts and crafts.

National Library Bhutan’s National Library is located close to the Institute for Zorig Chusum and contains Bhutan’s history in the form of religious and historical literature.

The Folk Heritage Museum.  Founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck the museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family in the Thimphu Valley in the olden days.

The Institute of Traditional Medicine The complex has the traditional medicine production unit, the treatment hospital and the school.

For the spiritually inclined and those that prefer short treks there are various monasteries and temples in and around Thimpu.

Weekend Market Every Saturday and Sunday most of the Thimpu population congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held.  Here villagers from the valley and other nearby places come to sell their agriculture produce.

Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the Central Monk Body.  The queen also had a winter residence here.  From Punakha, one may visit the temple of Divine Madman, one of Bhutan’s favorite saints and certainly one of its most colorful.  There is also the opportunity to spend the night in a tented camp and go river rafting on the Mo Chuu or Pho Chuu Rivers.

Druk Wangyai Chortens at Dochula On the way to Punakha from Thimpu is the Dochula Pass from where a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range can be seen, specially on clear winter days.   The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyai Chortens – a 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Whangchuck. 

Punakha Dzong.  The Punakha Dzong was built by the Zhabdrung in 1637.  It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu.  The Dzong is open for visitors during the Punakha Tshechu and during the summer months when the monk body moves to Thimpu.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chhorten Built by the third Queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck this chhorten is a splendid example of fine Bhutanese architecture and art and is only one of its kind in the world.  It has been built over eight and a half years and its details have been drawn from religious scriptures.


Wangdiphodrang is a town located south of  Punakha and is the last town before central Bhutan.  The district is famous for its fine bamboo work and its slate and stone carving. 

Gangtey Goenpa/Phobijkha The valley of Phobijkha is   well known as the winter home of the black necked cranes.  Bhutan is home to around six hundred black necked cranes with Phobjikha being one of the popular places that the birds migrate to in the winter months from the Tibetan plateau.  These elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of March.  Overlooking the Phobijkha Valley is the Gangley Goenpa.  This is an old monastery that dates back to the 17th century.


The Phobjikha Valley is a wildlife conservation  area on the western slopes of the Black Mountains.  Black-neck cranes winter her and visitors have the opportunity to see these rare birds in the late fall and winter months.  Here one can also sample village life by overnighting in a typical Bhutanese farm house.

Trongsa is geographically right in the middle of the country and is the site of one of Bhutan’s most impressive and extensive dzongs, a prime sample of the country’s traditional architecture. It is a good stopping place for travelers going to the eastern part of Bhutan. From Trongsa, one can visit the palace used by the second and third Kings of Bhutan which houses an extensive library.

Trongsa Dzong Built in 1648, Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the Royal Family.  Both the  first and the second King ruled the country from this ancient seat.  All Kings hold the post of  Trongsa Penlop prior to being crowned as King.

Ta Dzong.  Perched above the Trongsa Dzong this is a watch tower which once stood guard over the Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion.  It is now being turned into a heritage museum.

Bumthang ValleyThis fascinating valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries.  Its gentle sloping hills offer plenty of walking opportunities to the many temples that dot this valley.  The valley is also famous for its production of honey, cheese, apples and the yatra – a woolen material that has multiple uses.

Jambay Lhakhang It is one of the 108 monasteries built by King Songtsen Goenpo in the 8th century to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.


Kurje LhakhangKurje Lhakhang is located just a few meters beyond Jambay Lhakhang.  It is dedicated to the saint Guru Padmasambhava who was supposed to have meditated there in the 8th century. 

Tamshing Lhakhang This monastery lies on the other side of the river opposite the Kurje Lakhang.  It was built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, a re-incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava and whose lineage the Royal Family traces their ancestors to.

 Jakar Dzong The Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549 by the great grand father of the Zhabdrung.  It is now used as the administrative center for the Bumthang district.  The Bumthang Tshechu is one of the most popular.  It is held at night and is said to bring fertility to any woman wanting a child.

Mebar Tsho (Lake of Burning Fire)This is a sacred lake for the Bhutanese who believe that Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures from this lake in the 12th century.  On auspicious days many Bhutanese go and offer butter lamps on this fresh water lake.

Ura Village Ura is a one and a half drive from Bumthang town.  The drive is mainly through sheep pastures and along the way one can glimpse a magnificent view of Mount Gangkar Puensum from Ura la.  The main characteristic of this village is the closely clustered houses.  It is the last settlement before the climb to the highest road pass at Trumsingla.


Jakar, in the Bumthang Valley, is the major trading center of the region and a charming village.  There are numerous shops along the main street where one has the opportunity to interact with the Bhutanese people most of whom have learned English in school and are eager to meet foreigners.  One excursion from Jakar includes a visit to the Tang Valley to visit the Tang O’Ling Museum.

Mongar is in the eastern portion of Bhutan and the influence of Indian culture is more evident here than in western portions of the country.  The journey from Mongar to Bumthang is one of he most beautiful in the Himalayas crossing the 3,800 m high Trumsingla Pass.  Mongar marks the beginning of eastern Bhutan.  The second largest town in the subtropical east, Mongar, like Trashigang further east, is situated on the side of a hill in contrast to other towns of western Bhutan which are built on the valley floor.  From Mongar, one can visit the village of Khoma famous for hand-woven textiles and approached by horseback if desired from the village of Lhuentse. 

Trashigang is the largest district in Bhutan and it lies in the far east on the banks of the river Gamri Chu.  It was once the center of a busy trade with Tibet.  Today it is the junction of the east west highway with road connecting to Samdrupjongkhar and then to the Indian state of Assam.  The nomadic people from Merak and Sakten who are remarkable for their exceptional features and costumes use this town as their market place mostly during winter.

Trashigang Dzong It was built in 1659 and now serves as the administrative seat for the district as well as the home of the monk body.  The Dzong commands a remarkable view of he surrounding countryside.

Gom Kora It is said that the Guru meditated in this place to subdue a demon that dwelt in a big rock.  A temple was then built.


TrashiyangtseThashiyangtse is also home to the Black Necked Crane especially in Bumdeling.  This is the eastern most part of Bhutan and borders Arunachal Pradesh in India.

 Chorten Kora It is similar to the stupa of Boudhanath in Nepal and was built in 1740 by Lama Ngawang Loday.  During the second month of the lunar calendar an interesting celebration known as “Kora” takes place here when people from neighboring Arunachal Pradesh also join in the festivities.

Samdrupjongkhar The road from Trashingang to Samdrupjongkhar was completed in the 1960’s and it enables the eastern part of the country to access and benefit from trade with the south as well as across the Indian border.  There is little for travelers to see in this area but it is used as more of a convenient exit town.


   © From 1998 Global Spectrum, Inc. - Travel Specialists to Viet Nam and Beyond
   Email Global Spectrum Travel / 1.800.419.4446  3907 Laro Court, Fairfax, VA 22031 USA